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Media Release: February 16, 2016
Andrew Weaver Budget Statement – MSP, Housing, Prosperity Fund
For Immediate Release

Victoria, B.C. – Andrew Weaver, Leader of the B.C. Green Party and MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head, responds to MSP, housing, and prosperity fund features in the 2016 budget.

On MSP:

“While it is encouraging to see the government addressing an issue that so many British Columbians have been speaking out about, the action taken represents a halfway step; it does not create a system where MSP premiums are charged fairly,” said Weaver. “We see individuals and families earning modest incomes continuing to pay the same rates as those who are earning 6 digit salaries, and assistance remains contingent on an opt-in system.”

“Despite the Minister’s comments, a system that charges MSP premiums in a fair and progressive manner through the income tax system can also be a system that transparently ensures that British Columbians understand the rising costs of healthcare we face.”

On Housing:

“While I will start by commending the Minister on working to improve this government’s ability to track what is happening in our housing markets, the policies outlined in this document represent more of a hedge, than a true step forward,” said Weaver. “There is no clear indication in this budget that the government appreciates the scope of this issue.”

“Contrary to the Minister’s perspective that this is only an  issue in one neighbourhood – families throughout the province are finding housing markets to be increasingly inaccessible. We need our government to be fully engaged on this issue – putting out a clear timeline for the steps they will take and how they will act on the information they gather.”

On the Prosperity Fund:

“I have serious concerns that the announced Prosperity Fund, and initial investment of $100 million, is nothing more than political cover for an LNG pipedream that will never show up,” said Weaver. “While I am fully supportive of the idea that British Columbia should be saving some of the wealth it earns to support future generations, the fact that this fund has no other investments projected over the three years this budget covers calls into question whether this is intended to be a principled policy, or intended to distract from the lack of delivery on LNG.”

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Media Contact

Mat Wright
Press Secretary – Andrew Weaver MLA

Cell: 250 216 3382
Mat.wright@leg.bc.ca
Twitter: @MatVic


2 Comments

  1. Verne Sundstrom-
    February 17, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    Can you please explain how the requirement to not pay the transfer tax on NEW house purchases benefits the 90% of British Columbians that reside outside of the Fraser Valley?

    i am trying to sell a medium priced house in the Okanagan ($400 to $500M). I am competing against new houses listed in a similar price bracket. My house (20 years old) just became less desireable than a similarly priced NEW house as a transfer tax is applied to my house but not the NEW purchase. Great for the developers to sell but no benefit to most house sales. Do I understand this issue correctly?

    • February 17, 2016 at 4:37 pm

      Verne, it doesn’t. It’s another odd boutique bandaid that the government has introduced to incentivize developers. We have an entirely artificial economy emerging in BC based on a out of control speculative housing market in the lower mainland. The government is encouraging continuation of this false economy. Look how Phoenix faired when the bubble burst.